Nonsequitur: Deconstructing President Obama’s Economic Speech

December 10, 2013

Richard Epstein breaks down President Obama’s recent economic speech for the thoughtful reader. Please read Epstein’s analysis here, but his essay sub-title really makes his main point: “A rehash of failed progressive policies will not return the United States to greatness.”

All of President Obama’s expressed ideas are liberal (progressive) standards from the 20th Century. Unions probably did need protection 70 years ago, but they don’t now. A higher minimum wage was needed in the last century, but it isn’t going to improve the job market or “real earnings” at this point. President Obama’s claim that the opposition wants to let “companies pollute all they want” is a ridiculous lie. And every solution that makes up the President’s prescription to turn around our economy and help our working classes has been proven by experience to fail to do so.

President Obama makes multiple references to Teddy Roosevelt, president from 1901 – 1909. An administration more than 100 years ago is hardly a good measure for modern America. In fact, the economic “boom” periods of the 20’s, early 60’s, 80’s and 90’s were supported by “conservative” policies of low taxation, limited regulation and limited government growth. It is interesting to note that these periods are equally divided between two Democrat and two Republican administrations. Perhaps President Obama should spend more time reviewing the Clinton, Reagan, Kennedy and Coolidge approaches to economic growth and prosperity. His own policies have failed to grow the economy or jobs. But these four Presidents knew what actually worked to improve the lives of our working classes.


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